Ajax got off to a perfect start in the Champions League group stages with a 3-0 win over Lille.

After their excellent run to the semi-finals last season, Ajax began another group stage campaign on Tuesday against Lille, who finished second in Ligue 1 last season.

Erik ten Hag decided to start with Sergino Dest at right-back and Joel Veltman in the centre. Quincy Promes was in the attack with Klaas jan Huntelaar on the bench.

Lille claimed a penalty early on for a shirt-pull by Joel Veltman but that was waved away. The first big chance of the game fell to Ajax but after bursting into the box, Hakim Ziyech hammered his shot against the post.

In the 18th minute, Ajax had the lead when Quincy Promes headed in Nicolas Tagliafico’s cross.

After the opener, Lille went on the attack but Andre Onana had little to do expect parry one strike by Jonathan Ikoné.

Five minutes into the second half, Ajax doubled their lead in a fine way. Lisandro Martinez played an excellent ball forward to David Neres, who then laid the ball off for Edson Alvarez to guide the ball into the top corner from a tight angle.

Lille created chances but could not take them and in the 62nd minute, Nicolas Tagliafico sealed the victory with a fine header.

Ajax were comfortable after the third goal and could have added more, while at the other end, Onana saved well from Yusuf Yazici, who also hit the post.

The victory moves Ajax to the top of the group with Chelsea losing 1-0 at home to Valencia in the group’s other game. Next up is a tie in Valencia on the second of October.




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